Hours after a report indicated that Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning could join coach Steve Sarkisian’s new staff at Texas in the same role, he appeared to confirm via Twitter that he will stay in Athens. Dawgs247 first reported the news on Friday night as Rusty Mansell wrote that “turned down an offer from the University of Texas to remain at the University of Georgia.”
Georgia fielded one of college football’s elite defense over the last two seasons under Lanning, who took over in 2019 after serving as outside linebackers coach for one season in Athens. Prior to joining the Bulldogs, Lanning was the inside linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at Memphis. He has also worked at Alabama, Arizona State, Pittsburgh and Sam Houston State. The Bulldogs ranked in the top three nationally in both yards allowed per game and yards per play allowed in 2019, and they were again in the top 15 in both categories in 2020.
Lanning’s defense posted three shutouts in 2019 — against Arkansas State, Kentucky, and Missouri — and allowed 14 or fewer points nine times on the year including five of the last six games. The performance of that unit was the primary reason that the Bulldogs finished the season 11-1 in the regular season for the third straight season seeing as how the offense was inconsistent on the year and struggled mightily down the stretch.
Thus, Texas is still in the market for a defensive coordinator. Sarkisian has reportedly hired Alabama special teams coordinator Jeff Banks to the same position in Austin, which was a big pull that could weaken Alabama some.
Banks, who is considered a top special teams coach and an elite recruiter, spent the past three seasons at Alabama and five seasons at Texas A&M before that. A source told Horns247 that Banks has agreed to a three-year, $3.15 million deal that will start with a $1 million salary in 2021 after earning $750,000 annually at Alabama. Banks joins Alabama offensive line coach Kyle Flood and Alabama analyst A.J. Milwee as Tide assistants joining Sarkisian’s staff, sources told Horns247.
Flood is expected to be the offensive coordinator and Milwee the quarterbacks coach at Texas, even though Sarkisian will call the offensive plays, sources told Brown. Texas will be replacing starting quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who is expected to be selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Horns247’s Chip Brown and Dawgs247’s Rusty Mansell contributed to this story.